Warning: This article, if you read the whole thing, is going to make you hungry for God, longing for revival. It may cause you to not eat for an extended period of time—because of this intense longing for the heavenly.
Like many people, I have been reading through the Exodus story afresh. I have long believed that the Exodus narrative was to Israel what the Great Tribulation will be to the Church. Can we draw insight from Moses that can help us today? I think yes.
They Cried out to God and He Heard
Before anything changed for the Israel, before God found Moses in the desert, the Bible says that the Israelites cried out to God in their suffering.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (Ex. 2:23-25)
God was moved by their cries. Their groaning reached God’s throne in heaven. But the change did not come overnight. Yeshua taught us that faith and prayer is similar to a farmer planting seed.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
He plants the seed by faith, but it takes time before a harvest comes. If we pray once for revival and then get disappointed when God doesn’t immediately visit, we miss the point. There is a process of praying and waiting. Crying out to God and expecting. Impregnation and then birth.
He remembered His covenant
I love this. What moved God? He remembered (not that He forgot) that He cut covenant with Abraham. If it was not just that God’s heart was moved by their cries, He had a legal obligation to move on behalf of the Israelites. Covenants are legal. Yahweh had a contractual responsibility to Abraham and his seed.
Clearly God went into that contract with the desire to help; He did not begrudgingly help Israel because of legalese, in which Abraham trapped him. No, Abraham was asleep when God made the covenant. But God is showing us that He honors His word.
We know that revival is promised (along with a messy Great Tribulation). We see this promise in Romans 11:12, 15, where God says that when Israel embraces Yeshua, something greater than Acts will follow.
But if [Israel’s] transgression (of rejecting Yeshua) means riches for the world, and [Israel’s] loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will [Israel’s] full inclusion bring! (Romans 11:12)
We see a great awakening during the Tribulation (Rev. 11, 14).
God will remember His covenant to us—He will remember His prophetic word to Israel; that her eyes would be opened in the end-times (Hosea 3:4-5, Ez. 36:25-28, Zech. 12:10, Romans 11:26).
Their Situation Changed Overnight
Sometimes those promises to Israel, as one who moved here to Tel Aviv, seem impossible. And if we have learned anything in the past month, it is that things can change in a second—overnight. While I am not a fan of pandemics, I am in awe of the power of God (all power is from God)—how He has brought a world to its knees in a matter of weeks. Is that not what He did to Pharaoh and all Egypt. God brought the most powerful man on earth to his knees in just a few days.
The Lord is going to roar from Zion, as Amos says, and humble the leaders of this world who stand in rebellion against him. He mocks the kings of the earth as they make plans against His (Ps. 2). While we are all praying for Boris Johnson to recover, the fact that he is fighting for his life just shows that no one can hide. As a BBC headline said this morning referring to their Prime Minister, “Power is no protection from harm.”
Even as Pharaoh could not stop the frogs from invading every area of his palace, who can hide from the Lord when He makes an appointment? (This is not to suggest that Boris Johnson is being judged, rather the fact that status, wealth, or friends in ‘not quite high enough’ places can save you.)
Revival can happen in a Nanosecond!
But it is the same with revival. I had the great privilege of teaching at the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. God swept through that place in one moment and the world changed. If you watch the service where it all begins, you will be surprised to see that it wasn’t anything special. Steve Hill gives an altar call and a few people come forward. Then he asks people to come for prayer. Most come, but still—no big deal. And then suddenly…I get emotional just writing about i…God showed up and people start falling like dominos. Pastor John Kilpatrick said it was like a river came into the building. He, a man very much charge, was on the ground, unable to move for hours. It swept all over the US and the globe.
One moment, things were normal and then the next, God was there! (I am getting so hungry for God just writing about this!!!)
Now imagine Moses sharing this with the Israelites.
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.” (Ex. 3:21-22)
It must have been very difficult to believe. They had been salves for so long. How could there be any situation where they leave Egypt rich? It must of seemed like a dream. Of course, if I told you in January that there would be worldwide pandemic that would begin world economies to their knees before Passover, would you have believed me?
One day they were slaves—the next day there was “revival” as they plundered the enemy’s camp. It all starts with us crying out to God! Some want things to go back to normal. I want God to show up!